Thread: Colossal 2017 - The Canadian Wild.

  1. #11
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    Giggity ... so excited to see this come together. Great photos as always Addison
    Doc McCoy's '98 TRD Extended Cab - Bobbed Bed
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  2. #12
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    Great start! Looking forward to rest of the stories. Thanks!

  3. #13
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    Wow somehow missed this report being up until just today (I'm subscribed to the TMCo RRS feed but it wasn't up there yet so I missed it). As usual, the Colossal report doesn't disappoint. Really looking forward to Parts 3 and 4! Excellent work Addison

    I'm assuming TMCo will do a video on the trip like you did last year?
    Ryan
    ​2008 Tacoma - Build Thread
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by soonenough View Post
    Wow somehow missed this report being up until just today (I'm subscribed to the TMCo RRS feed but it wasn't up there yet so I missed it). As usual, the Colossal report doesn't disappoint. Really looking forward to Parts 3 and 4! Excellent work Addison

    I'm assuming TMCo will do a video on the trip like you did last year?
    Hey Ryan! Yah we are going to post the entire thing on Tamarack once it's written. The website will also be the only place where you will be able to see the video when it drops. Pretty excited for it this year. We actually had two dedicated filmers on the trip this year with myself being the 3rd as a filler (when I wasn't guiding the group). Lots of good footage was collected... also doesn't hurt that we were shooting most of it on a RED 8K camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kya View Post
    Great start! Looking forward to rest of the stories. Thanks!
    Thanks, Part 3 should be live by the end of the weekend.

  5. #15
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    PICTURES -WOW!

    if you guys plan on doing the Morrison trail next year, I've done it twice. Our local club does it every year and can offer insight or info. I've done it twice.
    2010 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams 6MT
    TLCA #24463
    https://backcountryadventuretime.wordpress.com/
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  6. #16
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    Always enjoy your trip reports. Beautiful photos as always.

  7. #17
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    \ PART 3 \

    Day 2. Our camp begins to come to life around 8am, with everyone except Ian waking up and starting an easy breakfast. We leave Ian sleeping in the truck knowing he was up for nearly 48 hours to make it to the event…and a few too many drinks before bed. We converse and walk around camp enjoying the amenities of this amazing spot. As the clocks rolls around and Ian gets up, we bring the group together for our first official “drivers meeting”. Now with everyone present, we do all the formal introductions and discuss some of our basic rules of the trail – leave the guys behind you in your sight, stay on the trail and avoid disrupting any vegetation off the trail (especially when we get above the treeline), and never be afraid to ask for a spot or a helping hand. We outline the route for the day with about 100 kms of gravel travel before hitting the trailhead. Before the group breaks, we do our first morning raffle – for the Element fire pit.


    20170924-_MG_2229 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr

    Element by RA Motorsports is a new fabrication company out of Edmonton who focuses on building stout equipment that can be utilized to help us enjoy the beautiful outdoors. They offer a variety of products from skid plates and sliders to some very cool camping equipment -like their puzzle fire pit we are giving away. I have used one before and they work exceptionally well, even coming with a grille insert for the top of the fire pit to cook on. We fire up the Chwazi app to select our winner. The random sounds and colours bounce around until one of the fingers laid on the screen is selected at random. Digital fortune favours Kevin as he walks away with the fire pit. We then head for the vehicles and prepare for departure – Chase and Dallas already setup with the RED camera for a couple camp departure shots.


    20170923-_08I4476 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    The RED in full glory.

    The gravel road leading to the trailhead is a beautifully kept section of road. Speeds of 100+ km/hr are easily and safely achievable so we allow the group distance to spread out for some safety margin and dust avoidance. I take point with my radio ready to communicate any obstructions in advance. We blast through the river valley, taking in the riverbank views as the forest gives way and the view becomes available. Maybe having a little too much fun, I wind down my speed and start looking for the location for our surprise challenge. I notify the group that we will be stopping once I am confident in the current piece of road. The winner of the challenge will receive a pair of Baja Design Squadron LED’s. I have been using Baja Design products on my personal rig for several years. The craftsmanship, customer service, and ability to dial in and/or service each light makes them ideal for vehicles that will see an array of conditions. I’ve had my lights set up for both amber snow-storm mode or wide open highway distance patterns – the ability to vary them so much is priceless.

    The challenge – a drag race! We choose this as our challenge knowing full well that every rig here has been logically & meticulously setup for a variety of circumstances, terrain, and uncertainty. Setting them up for a straight line pull however, was probably never in the cards! We set up spotters at either end of the straight and wide stretch of road. A line is drawn in the gravel to mark both ends of the “track”. We have an official timer, flag dude (me in a bikini… JK), and scouts. We learn the hard way to stay off the radio and get our communication dialled in. Each attendee tries a different strategy to propel their heavy beast to top speed. We have a variety of motors – inline 6, V6’s, and V8’s as well as some fully armoured expo rigs and some light weight simple builds. Some with gear reduction, some without. The group enjoys the unpredictable challenge and we laugh at how surprisingly close each time is. With everyone at the finish line, I even line up for a pull of my own. The 4.7 screams to life making way more sound than its output in velocity. I feel confident but some of the lighter rigs may still have the advantage. The results are in and Cody takes 1st place in his 98’ 4Runner on 285’s with the automatic and factory gears. He chirps us all about his awkwardly fast(?) setup as he takes the walk of victory to come over and grab the lights. Props Cody!

    No pics of the drag race because I was too busy waving the flag and chatting on the radio. Instead, a couple shots of some of the people who make these adventures so good:



    20170923-_08I4482 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Terry snapping some pics - this guys raises the bar in excitement. Never seen such a good trundler before.


    20170924-_MG_2316 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Trevor, owner of Kootenay Mountain Works


    20170923-_08I4471 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Our good pal Dallas of The Real Pool Service out of Vancouver.


    20170923-_08I4469 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    My good bud Ian - he's been on every Colossal trip since before they were even called Colossal.

    Back in our rigs and hauling down the backroad once again, we take a quick break at an iconic bridge and trout spawning area that we camped near on Colossal 2016. We park in a pullout near the river and grab lunch. As most of us eat, Cody takes the 20 minutes of downtime to flex his electrical skills and install his new lights. I put him on a “departure timer” but was unexpectedly impressed when we rolled back out to the road and saw his amber LED’s burn to life. Within a couple minutes we were staging at the next trailhead.


    20170924-_MG_2233 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Group shot - check Cody working on the BD light install!

    Gathered and assembled we started our ascent. The trail headed up in what looked to be an old logging cut road. We began to round the familiar switchbacks as we gained altitude. The trail was fairly wide and not terribly rough. A half dozen long switchbacks before the overgrowth on the trail started to show – the Alders fighting to re-claim what was once un-marked territory. We drive with caution and a little speed, dodging through the narrow points occasionally cringing at the sound of paint against branch.


    20170923-_08I4498 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr

    Everything is going smoothly when suddenly I hear a crackle on the radio “I think I have a flat”. John in the gorgeous Expo-AF Tundra is down a tire. A huge gash in the sidewall from what we would later find out to be a 14” log jammed inside the tire. Luckily John’s truck is in a spot where an easy tire change is plausible. The group rallies at our first setback and within minutes it’s like team Nascar is doing a pitstop. Cody is on the jack, Ian has the spare tire ready to swap on, and John works the impact gun. Literally a 5 minute trail swap – impressive gentlemen!


    20170924-_MG_2235 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170924-_MG_2252 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    John running the impact on the quick tire swap.

    We proceed without much caution trying to get through the tight alder and into the old growth. This trail new to even myself, does not disappoint. As we climb, the alder disappears and we find ourselves exposed in a vast avalanche chute. The foliage is spectacular with the neon yellow of the moss and mature Tundra, against the deep green pines, and aqua lake in the backdrop. A couple tight switchbacks give us a few pucker moments but nothing the group can't handle with some good spotting. As we carry onward the colors continue to impress – now red foliage is mixed with the moss and its like the whole color spectrum lies around us. We continue to climb until we reach the summit. A flat, rocky area overlooking the region we came from to the West and some more remote valleys and peaks to our East. The view is spectacular in 360 degrees!


    20170923-_08I4501 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    The foliage finally turning from scratch alder, to wide open old growth.


    20170923-_08I4515 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    What we've been waiting for... the views starting to open up.


    20170923-_08I4526 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    The chute.


    20170923-_08I4528 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170923-_08I4540 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170923-_08I4549 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Photos do not do this place justice.

    We break out Goose for some aerial shots before heading back down to explore another route that seems to follow the ridgeline. We have enough daylight to play for approximately another hour. The new directive is a shaley trail that traverses the mountain just below the ridge. It’s exceptionally beautiful as we have such a mix of rock, old growth trees, and the stunning tundra. The scent of the fresh mountain air is almost too much to handle – truly imprinting the raw and untouched terrain in our minds as we slowly crawl through the backcountry. As far as the eye can see for the entire day, there is not another soul to be seen or any hint of civilization other than the trail itself. In my happy place I am nearly startled when I hear Kevin’s voice on the radio “I think I have a flat”. Low and behold, we are lucky ( to a degree) once again… this trail is tight, barely allowing enough width for our vehicles to belong, especially when driving a wide LT Tacoma on 35’s. One wrong move and your rolling down the mountain to the valley bottom below. Kevin happens to get a gash in his sidewall (presumably from one of the sharp shale rocks on the uphill side of the trail) in one of the few places safe to pull off a tire change. Bummed about his brand new tire being destroyed but thankful for a useable spare and a safe tire change, we continue on. We are greeting with several tricky manoeuvres where we must navigate awkward brush in order to pass, yet still remain on the trail. Soon we reach the trails plateau and are turned around by a washout and a very sketchy traverse – maybe good for a dirtbike but not our Toyotas (I mean - Toyota’s and 1 Nissan)


    20170923-_08I4564 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    On the summit.


    20170924-_08I4613 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170924-_08I4632 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Up in the clouds.


    20170924-_MG_2306 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Kevins minty Tacoma post flat tire repair.


    20170924-_MG_2283 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170924-_MG_2266 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr


    20170924-_MG_2272 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Chase having a giggle while Kevin get's his tire swapped.

    Satisfied with the day we make the uneventful trip back down to the valley bottom. With little light left, the group makes the unspoken decision to make it down rather quickly… and we all get a chance to heat up and test our fancy suspension systems. I can only speak for myself here, but the Icon absorbers shine as a cruise down the rough, steep, and rocky terrain with ease. Hitting the od 2 foot drainage ditch at 40-60 km/hr, the truck soaks everything up with only minor grunts when the front end is fully compressed and the Toyo tires just knick the bottom of my flares. With breakneck speed we are back on the road and heading towards camp only a couple minutes away. Low and behold, one of my favourite campsites in the area remains unoccupied, giving the whole group a perfectly flat and grassy area to setup camp right on the edge of the deep blue lake.


    20170924-_MG_2330 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Dallas getting his first taste of offroad driving in the Tamarack Media Co. Tacoma, Bruce.


    20170924-_08I4641 by Tamarack Media Co., on Flickr
    Check those BD lights in action!

    Camp life at Colossal is critical. It’s as important as the trails themselves. Challenging yourself mentally during the day and also taking in spectacular scenery is only made better when you get to reflect on the experience with others at the end of the day. This day is no exception and another big camp feast is prepared by each party. We bounce around vehicle to vehicle chatting with everyone and sharing any supplies overlooked. It’s dark but there is more than enough camp light to go around and we are all winding down by the fire in no time. A few evening laughs and antics have us in bed before it’s too early in the morning… tomorrow brings a different pace to the trip but one I am looking foreword to.

    / Stay Tuned for Part 4 /
    Last edited by rickashay; 10-21-2017 at 06:43 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttfjc View Post
    PICTURES -WOW!

    if you guys plan on doing the Morrison trail next year, I've done it twice. Our local club does it every year and can offer insight or info. I've done it twice.
    Thanks! I'll have to hit you up if we plan on heading south.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2180miles View Post
    Always enjoy your trip reports. Beautiful photos as always.
    Thanks for following along. Glad you can get a glimpse of the scenery through our photos! I know it's one of the main reasons I hang around Expo so much!

  9. #19
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    Columbus,Ohio
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    Outstanding! Canít wait for the rest of the report along with the video.
    Addison top notch work by you and all involved.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #20
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    Ya there always seems to be one Nissan guy....LOL
    Excellent report, Thanks for sharing.
    2012 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Pro-4X, Radflo, SPC, PRG, Bilstein, Shrockworks , Leer, Antec, Magnaflow.
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